Conservation and ethnobotanical knowledge of a Hmong community in Long Lan, Luang Prabang, Lao People’s Democratic Republic


In 2012 and 2013 participatory ethnobotany explorations were undertaken with herbalists from the Hmong ethnic group of Long Lan village, in Luang Prabang, Lao People’s Democratic Republic. These investigations into the knowledge and experience of indigenous elders of Long Lan and surrounding villages sought to identify the relationship between the spiritual-cultural practices and livelihood uses of plants and their conservation. Information about 74 plant species of 49 families was recorded, including 25 herbs (17 perennial, 8 annual), 20 trees, 17 shrubs, 10 climbers, and 2 ferns. Analysis of quantitative ethnobotany scores indicated positive trends between uses and conservation practices for plants. The study suggests that the traditional Hmong cultural uses for plants may be a mechanism for the conservation of biodiversity in the rapidly deteriorating forests of Luang Prabang in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic.

Ethnobotany Research and Applications, (12),